phases of flow

as i'm sitting here finalizing my first email with the first lesson to my first mindful momming group, i'm filled to the brim with excitement and gratitude.

i'm in the flow and it feels so good.

you know how some days you're on your a-game and others you're a complete space cadet?

well, think of the flow as an ongoing string of a-game days. you with me?

when i'm in the flow i'm energized, inspired, productive, happy, and confident.

when i'm not in the flow i feel heavy, sluggish, depressed, annoyed, frustrated... you?

here's the thing. the lesson. the ah-ha...

we thrive on acceptance, being liked, doing, producing, and feeling confident. in our outer world, we're usually feel more accepted and liked when we're kicking ass and in a good mood. so, when we get knocked out of that flow stage it pisses us off. i don't know about you but i feel anger towards myself for not making myself be in flow. {as if it works like that...}

ok, HERE is the lesson...

flow is just one part of our cycle. flow is natural... and so is being idle. it's our ego that puts the negative spin on it. we think it's our choice to be out of flow but it isn't. it a very necessary part of our natural rhythem.

kate northrup calls it the fertile void. she says "this phase takes as long as it takes, so do your best to be patient and know that even though it may look like nothing is happening, a lot is happening."

AKA: be gentle with yourself. this isn't a bad thing. relax into the fertile void.

the way kate explains the phases really resonates with me so that's how i'll explain them to you.

1. fertile void: This is like letting a field lay fallow. "you've got to give it a rest so that the next harvest will be abundant!"
2. emergence: it's a new beginning. ideas are brewing and you're becoming excited and energized. tune in!
3. visibility: this is the phase when you're primed to share and collaborate. have conversations. share what's on your heart. be with people.
4. culmination: kate calls this the "detail-oriented phase". it's the time to plan and think strategy. it's the time to work out the systems and processes and take action on the ideas that came to you during the emergence phase.

let's paint a picture to help you understand a little better...

1. fertile void: you're less active and feeling called to rest. you're not feeling motivated to do much of anything. you're in the mood to read books and take bubble baths and go to bed really early.
2. emergence: the inspiration bug snuck in and bit you! your wheels start turning and you've got a little pep in your step. maybe it's the motivation to focus on your health, or maybe you're finally feeling ready to do a full house organization/revamp because your Tupperware cabinet won't close.
3. visibility: you're starting to feel really energized now. you feel more inclined to plan a date with your girlfriends or host a family gathering. you're feeling communicative and social. pizza and pitchers with your best gals is sounding reallyyyyy good right now.
4. culmination: you start taking action on your ideas. you plan a family project to clean out a couple of rooms a week and box old items up to sell or donate. you invite your friends and family over to that gathering you've been wanting to host. you google healthy meal plans and create a grocery list to stock up on items for freezer meals. you're making shit happen, you rock star.

i like breaking it down into 4 phases, especially when i'm looking at it from a business perspective. i also, for the sake of simplicity, like to break it down into two phases:

the flow and the fertile void

here's my advice, what i've learned to be true:

enjoy the flow.
and, enjoy the idle time.
allow yourself to relax. honor the request from your mind, body, and soul to slow down and be still.
when we honor these phases and find peace and joy in all of them, we are healthier and happier.